2015: Year in Running

Time for the year-end post! These are sometimes cheesy, but I enjoy looking back at the last 12 months and doing a little summary before moving on to the new year. Also, since I’m a numbers nerd, I like to look back at previous years (see 2012, 2013, & 2014) to compare stats like mileage and races. So, without further ado…

Best race experience: Santa Rosa Marathon. Maybe I’ll eventually run a faster marathon, but I doubt I will ever have such a magical, perfect race experience like I did at SRM. Everything came together so well, from logistics, to race conditions, to executing my race strategy. I negative split by 11 minutes to PR by the same margin. I’ll never forget getting to the mile 20 marker with a smile and actually being EXCITED to run the last 6. The only thing missing was not having a support crew at the finish line to celebrate with. That would’ve been the icing on the cake!


Best run: I loved the group run at Pleasanton Ridge. We had a great turn out that day with 9 ladies, and I felt really strong on the hills. Then, we had brunch, which is always awesome.


Best new piece of gear: Altra The One2 shoes. They’re heinous to look at (think clown bowling shoes) and the name is quite silly, but I love these shoes. They’re what I’ve been looking for for so long — a road shoe with zero drop, just a bit of cushion, wide toe box, and lightweight.

Best piece of running advice received: “Stop thinking and just run as best as you can.” — The Gypsy Runner, before the Santa Rosa Marathon.

Most inspirational runner: The one runner whose story I was really moved by this year was Gunhild Swanson, the  70-year-old who made the cut-off at Western States 100-mile race with just 6 seconds to spare. In her post-race interview with iRunFar, she comes across as extremely likable, down-to-earth, and humble. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would be happy to be half as fit as Gunhild when I’m 70 years old!

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Enjoy the running. PRs are nice, and sometimes you want to work hard at getting faster, but in the end, running is a hobby for me. If I’m not enjoying it, then what’s the point?


And now for the numbers:

Miles (through 12/29; I may run a few tomorrow): 1,224

Races: 14

  • (1) 5Ks
  • (2) 10Ks
  • (1) 12K
  • (1) 15K
  • (1) 10 miler
  • (4) half marathons – 2 road, 2 trail
  • (2) marathons – 1 road, 1 trail
  • (1) marathon relay
  • (1) 50K

Miles raced: ~184

Racing milestones:

PRs: (not counting new distances with automatic PRs)
– 4:21:52 (9:59/mile) at Santa Rosa Marathon. Bettered previous PR by 10 min 47 sec.

Age Group Awards: 2 — 1st (out of 12) at Brazen Dirty Dozen 10K, and 2nd (out of 2) at the Canyon Meadows Trail Marathon.

When I look back on 2015, I see a return to fitness (after coming back from injury in 2014) and a year of new, fun experiences. I tried some different distances and prioritized running with friends. I raised money for charity while training for my first ultramarathon. I qualified for the Marathon Maniacs.

I’ve gotten a bit complacent since Santa Rosa, but I prefer to think of myself as more relaxed. 😉 Heading into 2016, I hope to get faster at the 5K. My goal is to PR at the Oakland 5K on March 20th.

Here’s to a happy and healthy new year!


Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

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19 comments on “2015: Year in Running
  1. jess says:

    Super recap! I loved being there to support you in a lot of those races. 🙂

  2. Cathryn says:

    I love these recaps and yours is brilliant. I hadn’t realized quite what an amazing year you had, lady!!

    Also…my goal for 2016 Q1 is a 5k PR….and I was looking for a 5k on March 20th. Let me check my diary but I think I might be toeing the line with you in Oakland!!! 🙂 Fancy some company?

  3. Paulette says:

    Love it! Nothing wrong with being more relaxed and enjoying the run. I’m so happy I finally got to run with you ladies once this year, hoping for more! 🙂 Congrats on a great year!

    Side note: I want to do a recap like this after reading yours and Cathryn’s!

  4. iampotassium says:

    So much running! I am super impressed that you ran an ultramarathon! Also, I want to see pictures of your ugly shoes! 😀

  5. bt says:

    Congrats on such an awesome year!

  6. Mike says:

    Congrats on a mighty fine year in running! Your PR at Santa Rosa and sheer force of will at Big Basin were definite highlights, and your Santa Rosa finisher photo is a RaceRaves favorite. With Big Basin vanquished, hopefully you’re considering a return to the ultramarathon distance in 2016, since there are so many beautiful courses out there waiting to be run (and especially in the Bay Area… The North Face, maybe?).

    And YES, as you know I’m a huge fan of The One2 as well – love the shoe, to the tune of having worn it in my past 6 marathons.

    Here’s to another injury-free #runhappy year in 2016!

    • Jen says:

      Thanks, Mike! I’m actually looking forward to getting faster in 2016, instead of going longer. But a faraway marathon might be in the cards…I’ll keep you posted!

  7. Kristen says:

    What an awesome year of running you had and congrats again on the ultra! I love the format of your recap.

    I hope I can join you for some miles in 2016.

  8. Dan says:

    Excellent post for an excellent year. My favorite part was your sage advice on enjoying the PRs when they come, but that ultimately, we need to enjoy the sport for what it is, and not for the titles or stats that they bring. One foot at a time, one day at a time, smiling (hopefully) all the way.

    This was a great year for you, ups and downs. Looking forward to further adventures in 2016!

  9. […] More than a week late, but better late than never, amiright? I’ve enjoyed writing these posts over the last 4 years as a way to reflect on the past year’s running and to help me focus on goals for the coming year. (Here are the recaps from 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.) […]

  10. […] to my annual tradition of doing a year-end summary. Here are the wrap-ups from 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and […]

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4/28/19: London Marathon

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